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Northern Rail comes under government control

Northern Rail comes under government control

Northern Rail has now been taken over by the government's Operator of Last Resort following months of delays, cancellations and overcrowding on rail services in the North of England.

It was announced in January that Arriva Rail North would be stripped of the franchise. The German firm, which was due to run Northern services until 2025, had previously blamed 'external factors' such as infrastructure for repeated problems on the rail network.

With the Northern franchise now under government control, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said;

"This is a new era for rail in the North, but there will be no quick fix for the network as we build solutions for the future.

"Our aim is to give the North of England more powers over their railways, restoring the confidence of passengers and delivering a network they can truly rely on."

It is understood that the government will look at tackling overcrowding as a priority, while also continuing work to extend platforms at 30 stations, introduce new electric trains to the network and conduct a major deep-cleaning program on carriages.

The Operator of Last Resort also manages the London North Eastern Railway (LNER) franchise, after it took over rail services on the East Coast Main Line in May 2018.

Tickets purchased for Northern Rail services will remain valid for use as normal, and the trains will continue to have the Northern branding.


Photo Credit: Matt Buck via Flickr under licence (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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